Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi said that the offense to Islam is an offense to “all of us” as he condemned the film that insulted Islam and the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
On the eve of a three-day visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Lebanon, Rahi stressed the importance of the visit.
“The visit of the pope is a call for peace in the Middle East to separate religion from the state for building democracy, to accept others who are different and to adopt diversity in our unity, Rahi told journalists at the Maronite church headquarters in Bkirke outside Beirut.
“The papal visit is a call for peace among Christians and Muslims in the Middle East as they share a common destiny,” he said, adding that the “Christian existence in the Middle East gives it an identity.”
Talking about the offensive film to Islam and Prophet Mohamamd (pbuh), Rahi regretted the movie by saying it “is not only an offense to Islam but an offense to all of us,” urging the withdrawal of this film from circulation.
The patriarch said that the Pope will call on the world during his visit to stop arming belligerents in the Syrian crisis.
“The pope will definitely call for an end to the spiral of violence and to hatred, which are pointless, and for those who finance and arm both sides in the conflict to stop doing so.”
“War is not launched by Islam or Christianity, but by states, troublemakers or mercenaries" and "Islam and Christianity should unite over values in order to lay down the foundations for a true Arab Spring" of peace and reconciliation, Rahi said.